Letter from Joseph M. Pena
Received: from: Joe Pena
Sun, 27 Apr 1997 11:05:53 -0400
Copied from: http://www.uni-giessen.de/~gk1415/Joe-Penna.html
Subject: Was once a Sai Baba Devotee
I have been going through the Indian Skeptic Home Page and came upon your little anecdote. I really enjoyed it. I actually was laughing out loud. I just recently received a copy of the Indian Skeptic through the mail. The article about the kidney transplant at the specialty hospital, to say was shocking, would be understating the facts. The problem that I have is that the quality of the paper copy was so bad that it was virtually impossible to read the documents. Ever since the murders that happened at the ashram I have been very apprehensive about the Sai Baba organization. What made it worse was that the organization refused to tell us what was being written in the Indian press. They gave some official description that the motive for this murder was jealousy.
This to me, being an American, with very radical political beliefs, with years of experience following various cover-ups of my own government, like Watergate, Iran-Contra/L.A. South Central crack-Contras/CIA connections etc., this not only smelled bad, these people weren't even good liars. When murders start happening I remember Jonestown,Guyana, and being well acquainted with that nightmare, having had a girlfriend who did extensive research on the incident,including going through raw FBI files, I knew there was something very dangerous going on.
One of the things that always bothered me about the Sai Baba organization was the strong connection that many of its people have to government in the United States Sai Baba Centers it seems to be like that all over the world though. Tell me if you think I am being overly paranoid. Let me expand on this.
Hal Honig who is very high up in the Baba organization in the United States once told me that he was a "cultural attaché " at the U.S. embassy in Rome, and that he was assigned there after turning down a posting in Saigon. If you know anything about diplomacy and the intelligence community you will find that "cultural attaché" is often used as a cover for CIA. This was always true in Saigon during the war. The Rome embassy war very hot with CIA activity.A friend of his named Andrea told me herself that she did counter-intelligence work for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Hals friend Ruth Hercolani worked with Hal at the Rome embassy. Her
father was the commerce and finance minister under the Bosch government in Santo Domingo. He also was responsible for bringing in the Latin vote in the Kennedy administration,she showed me his picture at the Kennedy memorial. She went out for a while with an American CIA guy who hunted down Che Guevara. He was hiding out in Santo Domingo running from the FBI for medical malpractice. He used to brag about his mob connections to her. She once introduced me to the former foreign minister of Iraq. This guy was for real he was totally plastered on a drinking binge, and showed me a letter that was an invitation to a meeting where Henry Kissinger,military and CIA officials were attending. Her friend Roy Malo was the son of an ambassador from Argentina,land of disappearing people, he didn't like Jews. Although in all fairness he did end up marrying a Jewish psychotherapist after seeing "Schindlers List".
Al Drucker at a talk at the ashram the first I was at the ashram happened to mention that he had worked for the U.S. Defense Department. I was curious as to what capacity, so he told me. He used to write the launch codes to the U.S. nuclear missile system. I suspect he ended up at Sai Baba's after burning out. Lets face it, being potentially, personally responsible for Armageddon is a very heavy load. I think he was kicked out of the Ashram recently. He probably had some original thoughts they couldn't handle.
Jack Lenchner who has a Sai Baba cable program worked with other people on the Cray Mainframe supercomputer. Until recently he was living on a houseboat and seems to have deteriorated mentally quite a bit. And finally there is the U.N.Sai Baba center. What gets me is with all this connection to real power and politics, they claim to not be interested in it,or have anything to do with it.Years back when reading Samual Sandweise's ,"The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist", I came upon a very interesting question and Baba's answer. It was a question about taking care of the poor and would socialism win out. Baba responded that yes the rich would have to give up their possessions. I decided to make it my central theme in a study circle, to point out that Baba had clearly taken a political position. I can't even begin to tell you what an uproar that created ( I tend to have a reputation as a rable rouser). Then one day I am at the center and pick up a newer edition of the same book to show the quote to someone, and it was gone. The new edition had deleted that reference. I went home to check my old edition and it was there clear as day in black and white. I started asking for an explanation and got the official run around. Then one day Ruth asks me if she can borrow a copy of my book. I say sure and let her have it. When I ask for it back she hands me the newer version and tells me that she must have lent mine out to someone else and besides what difference does it make. I guess she never read George Orwell's"1984". This is the same woman who when Berlusconi won the election in Italy with support of the Fascists said, "Oh good! Maybe now he'll bring back the aristocracy!" Nice folks, huh?
If you can find an edition of Sandweiss's book that was printed before 1986 and compare the question and answer section in the back with a later edition you will find the discrepancy. Then again, who knows how efficient they were about it. I cannot believe I was such a sucker. I may have even lost the love of my life because of admitting I was a Baba devotee. That I will most assuredly never forgive them for, not even in their dreams. I do not know if you are in touch with Premanand on a regular basis, but if you are let him know that if he wants his videos produced and distributed in the United States he should try getting in touch with DeepDish T.V. and Paper Tiger T.V.The are very good at getting alternative video on the satellite /cable system.
The FAX number for both is 212-420-8223 (there may be some country and city codes involved if you FAX from India you'll have to find those out for
yourselves.) Send it co/Pat Levasseur.
She will know what it is about. They also have WEB pages they are:
file://http://www.igc.atc.org/deepdish and http://www.papertiger.org There are also an outside possibility of getting Premanand funding for more Guru Busters stuff. Personally I think he should expand the definition and call it Cult Busters. With the Heavens Gate cult making headlines and the Oklahoma city bombing trial starting up it will be fertile ground for this stuff.
The curious thing about your article is that healing of some kind seems to have occurred through some kind of congruent belief. There is something to be said for that. It is easy to dismiss it as "just"the placebo effect. Lets face it, the placebo effect is at times very effective and probably even useful for more than "just" mind control. I will tell you an interesting story. Four years ago my father was diagnosed with lymphoma. He worked all his life as a dry cleaner, so he handled perclorethylene, which is considered in the United States a class
A carcinogen. Before it was classified as that, he used it very carelessly. When my mother told me his condition, I reminded her of an old New York Magazine that had listed the best doctors in NY that I had told her to save because she would probably need it some day,and this was the day, obviously. I picked a Dr. Sidney Cohen, an oncologist at Beth Israel hospital. My wife is a nutritionist, so I asked her to make a list of all the foods that have been found to have anti-carcinogenic properties. I gave the list to my mother and told her to feed this to my father and she did. We told the doctor about the food. He didn't believe in it. Fine. I give my father a copy of Howard Murphets book something miracles I don't remember the title now, and some vibuti from Baba. He took the vibuthi and read the book and was deeply emotionally moved. He goes through the course of chemo-therapy. To make a long story short, he got complete remission. The doctor told him then,"I didn't want to tell you back then but when you came to me your cancer was very advanced. I seriously did not think you were going to make it."
Later Jackie Onassis went to Dr.Cohen for his diagnosis and opinion. My
mother found out later that my fathers cancer was much more advanced
then hers was. She was not treated by Dr.Cohen she went with someone
else.She died. My father is still in complete remission to this day. To this day I don't know why she died and my father lived. Was it Sidney? Sure! did the food have anything to do with it. Maybe, who knows? I know the food didn't hurt. Was there any contributing factor from my father having a strong emotional response to a higher power? Maybe, who knows? Was it some unique blend of all three factors? Again who knows? I am certain who ever finally took care of Jackie O. he was also probably one of the finest. All I know for sure is Jackie O. is dead and my father to this day is well. I do think good attitude has a positive effect in healing. Being a psychiatrist and a rationalist I would love to hear your opinion.
What I cannot fathom about the Sai Baba people is that they can look you right in the eye and tell you that someone like Baba with that much control of so many peoples behavior, determining what they value and what they don't value has no politics. Right, sure! Is that why this Indian general that came one day, he, I think is retired now, but he was commander of forces when India had that border clash with Pakistan, took the extra time to explain to me why Adolph
Hitler was a great man just not a good man. I guess Jeffry Dahmer was a
great cannibal just not a good one.
Joseph M. Pena